The Blindside….

So I think I’m about 6 months late for a rave review about The Blindside. You know, the movie about adoption. The movie that got Sandra Bullock a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actress. Ring a bell?

It wasn’t for lack of interest, but movies in the theaters are few and far between in these parts. When my friend mentioned she’d rented The Blindside, I was glad to hear it was on DVD, and even gladder when she let me borrow while she had it out from Blockbuster. So last Sunday BgK and I sat down and watched. And watched. And watched. (it’s a long movie)

And? We LOVED. Of course it’s a neat and tidy, made-for-the-silver-screen story. I’m sure a fly on the wall in the Touhy family saw more drama, tension and issues then you’d ever see in a 2 1/2 hr movie. But it captured some of what happens when an older child joins a family. It touches on some issues when that child is of a different race.  And I think it captured what a mother goes through when a child joins her family through adoption or really, in this case, guardianship. The dance to get to know each other, the small doubts that come and go, and the fierce protectiveness that comes from knowing you are a child’s best advocate, protector and source of love.

My favorite parts all involved Leigh Ann (Bullock’s character). I loved her yelling at the football coach. I loved her walking next to Michael, looking so small and yet such a source of strength and love. I loved her insisting on going to talk to Michael’s biological mother, letting her know that her son was OK, and that he still has a place in his heart for her. I loved her going to look for him when he takes off.

And I loved Michael calling her, toward the end of the movie, “Mama”. I can only imagine how the real Mrs. Touhy felt when the real Michael called her  that.

If you haven’t seen it yet–go rent it already. You’ll be glad you did : )

Grown in My Heart: Adoption Carnival VI

Friday  the sixth topic for Grown In My Heart’s Adoption Carnival was announced…….racism. And I was stumped. I’m an adoptive mo994329_un_flagsm to two kids who, well, look just like me and my husband. We didn’t plan it that way. We certainly didn’t request it. It just so happens that Jane and I are the same height. That Geoff and BgK have the same hair color. Our kids “blend” into our family so well based on appearance, it’s really by choice that we tell people they are adopted.

So racism doesn’t really come into play in our lives as a component of adoption. But of course, as a white family in midwestern Americana, I know racism does exist. Indiana has an awful history of racism and hatred. In my day-to-day life I don’t see it, but that’s because I’m white.


My daughter attends and I teach at a very nice suburban preschool. It is probably one of the most diverse private schools in the metro area, if not the state. My classroom is nearly 50% non-white.  Many of my daughter’s friends are children of immigrants. Children who visit grandparents in Pakistan, Kenya, New Zealand, India and South Korea. There are children who’ve been adopted internationally (and bi-racially). In central Indiana, this as diverse as it gets.

My son attends the daycare where Mam did. It’s very different from our little preschool, but his class is still nearly 50% non-white. His friends speak Spanish at home and English at the center. His first three caregivers were African-American, as are many of his playmates. I feel like my children have been exposed to as much diversity as we can get in the middle of Indiana.

Given that my children do see faces of people who don’t look like them on a daily basis, I’ve always sort of approached race by not approaching it–my thought was always not to point it out, and my children wouldn’t see it. Or they would see it, but they wouldn’t think much of it.

Then I read Nurture Shock. And realized I was wrong. The authors of Nurture Shock illustrate how children naturally sort and classify the world. If a group of children is divided by say, the color of their t-shirt, they automatically assume allegiance to their color. It makes sense. They further go on to illustrate answers children gave in regards to race, and how they do segregate the world by race, only they don’t talk about it because they’ve learned from their parents not to talk about it. Oh boy. I’m not explaining it well, but suffice it to say, after reading it, I feel like I’ve been doing a disservice to my own children as well my students.

Oh. My. Word. I have some explaining to do to my kiddos. I haven’t quite figured out how to talk to them about this, but I will. I have to. I’m their mom. If I don’t, who will????

Have some thoughts about racism? Link up at Grown in My Heart!!

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Winter, Winter Go Away…

Like the rest of North America, with the exception of Vancouver, it appears, central Indiana is in the middle of the dead of winter. Snow days, school delays, snow, snow, and more snow….these have been the days of my life.

Even when the sun isn’t out, there is a terrific glare off the snow. I’m counting that as sunlight for my sanity.

So it’s only natural that summer dreams have been developing this week. Remember summer? Remember warm? Remember sunshine?

The gals at Grown in My Heart have made a plan for summer–we are going to BlogHer ’10 in NYC. We’d like to get a slot in the Room of Their Own program–where we’d be the panel and discuss the delicate nature of sharing your family life and reproductive challenges on the Internet.

If you have two seconds, please click through here, and vote for our proposal:

You do need a BlogHer account, and once you’ve signed in, please vote for us. We’d appreciate it…..and if you’re going to BlogHer ’10, give a shout out!

Here are few flashbacks to a warmer, gentler time:

It was sooo hot the day we saw Niagra Falls, the plastic ponchos were a bit much!
It was sooo hot the day we saw Niagra Falls, the plastic ponchos were a bit much!
The water was so warm in the Atlantic this was a sunset splash. SO WARM OUTSIDE!
The water was so warm in the Atlantic this was a sunset splash. SO WARM OUTSIDE!
Look! The Fox is wearing a romper. Not pants. He's wearing sunscreen. He's sitting on this stuff called grass. Haven't seen grass since January...
Look! The Fox is wearing a romper. Not pants. He's wearing sunscreen. He's sitting on this stuff called grass. Haven't seen grass since January...